New Exterior Column…And Extra! (Arguably Too A lot Extra) – Bike Snob NYC

Sorry, I solely write friction propaganda now:

Sure, I’ve since reverted the Jones to the inventory clickety-click shifting however that was after I wrote this. (If it wasn’t for that pesky Enhance spacing I’d most likely do one thing foolish like placed on the drivetrain I stole off the Softride earlier than giving it away.) Additionally, the Litespeed has Campagnolo Ergo shifters on it, although I’m at the moment calling it “my son’s bike” so technically it doesn’t depend. Anyway, whenever you write for publications like this you possibly can’t simply say, “I discover friction shifting each partaking and sensible and also you may wish to take into account making an attempt it.” As an alternative it’s a must to made dumb, sweeping pronouncements like, “I’M ALL IN ON FRICTION AND I’M NEVER GOING BACK AND HERE’S WHY,” regardless that I totally reserve the correct to return at any time, like if I really feel like using “my son’s bike” with these oddly satisfying Campagnolo Ergo shifters.

In the meantime, right here I’m thigh-deep in derailleurs as I proceed to execute the Traditional Cycle twenty first Century Friction Shifter Shootout, and I feel perhaps that is the worst factor Paul of Traditional Cycle has ever carried out to me. This isn’t as a result of I don’t love taking part in with bike elements and delving into the historical past of derailleurs, as a result of I most assuredly do. No, it’s as a result of it triggers all my anal retentive impulses, and switching out the derailleur on my street bike each few days makes me perceive how Rain Man should have felt when somebody modified the channel throughout Wapner. (Are we allowed to reference Rain Man nonetheless?) On one hand, when one thing like the Veloce is on there and dealing completely I wish to preserve it on there eternally and make it a everlasting a part of the bike, however alternatively I can’t wait to attempt all the opposite derailleurs! Actually I might change them much less often, however I’m too impatient to seek out out which one’s the most effective, and likewise if I preserve writing about derailleurs for for much longer my few remaining readers are going to desert me eternally, and rightly so.

So yeah, it’s even worse than all of the instances he’s tried to kill me by placing me on bikes just like the Teledyne Titan, a motorbike so disconcertingly flexy it rivaled the Softride in sheer floppiness:

Anyway, to deliver you updated, right here’s the place we’re to this point:

And that brings us to the Dura Ace 7700:

Does it have what it takes to knock out the Veloce?

It’s a pleasant deralleur:

A very good deralleur:

Compact and stylish, it’s the type of factor you wish to carry round in your pocket all day:

I can see why Paul’s rooting for it:

The Dura Ace 7700 group, of which this derailleur was an element, might very properly be probably the most elegant one Shimano ever produced within the STI period, or perhaps even any period:

[Photo via here.]

Apparently it was additionally a “idea” group, and that idea was “stress-free:”

Dura-Ace 7700 was my first expertise with utilizing actual pro-level top-of-the-line biking elements, they usually did work flawlessly, although I can guarantee you that regardless of the entire “stress-free” idea the pricing certainly prompted me quite a lot of stress. Sure, it looks as if solely yesterday I thrilled to the feeling of lightening each my bike and my pockets by upgrading to Dura Ace 7700, however watching this video makes me understand a whole lot of time has handed since then:

Lots of people say that professional biking performances within the ’90s had been pushed by EPO, nevertheless it was really the 500-gram weight discount Shimano achieved with this element collection:

That and the additional gear, in fact:

Ah, the profound utterances of Abraham Olano. You possibly can inform by his expression that he’s actually pondering:

Alas, we might by no means know.

As for our check topics, the Dura Ace 7700 is the lightest of the bunch, weighing in at lower than 200 grams:

In contrast to the 600, which was additionally fairly gentle, this one encompasses a barrel adjuster, a B-screw, and naturally a slant parallelogram design. However it’s additionally fairly compact, and Shimano says the most important cog it would settle for is a 26:

26 enamel or FEWER, Shimano, FEWER!!!

After all as everyone knows you possibly can typically disregard these so-called limits, which is what I did. Nevertheless, within the case of the 7700, even with the B-screw all the best way in, I might nonetheless hear what seemed like somewhat pulley contact on the 29-tooth cog of the test-cycle. In that gear, lever place was about the place we’ve come to anticipate it to be with newer derailleurs, which is to say roughly degree with the ground:

It regarded good within the little ring:

And when you wouldn’t wish to experience round with it within the large-large combo for very lengthy, shifting into it accidentally actually wouldn’t wreck something:

Nonetheless, that pulley wheel appeared just a bit bit too shut for consolation:

In all different respects it labored flawlessly, and even within the 29 there was simply the faintest little purring noise. I doubt very a lot it is a drawback, and taking a fast look I’ve actually received different bikes the place the pulley’s working about this shut. Actually, earlier than this check began destroying my psyche I hardly even thought of derailleur pulley place, and I’m positive somebody will weigh in with one thing like, “You fool, that’s precisely how the pulley is meant to be!” Nevertheless, the truth that the B-screw must be completely maxed out (or in, technically talking) for the pulley to clear would trigger me concern and exacerbate my aforementioned anal retentive tendencies. This can be a disgrace, as a result of it’s a gorgeous half:

After all there’s a easy answer to all this, which might be to vary the cassette to a 25. I even have one sitting in my elements bin. However alas, this check is to find out which mixture yields the most effective modern-day friction drivetrain, and I’d argue that with the intention to win in 2023 you’d higher be capable to run a 29 and even decrease with no stress–even on a street bike. (Sure, there was a medium-cage model that would nominally deal with a bigger cog, however I ain’t received one, and I ain’t shopping for one, both.) So in addition to it really works in any other case, and as little because it weighs, and as nice because it appears on the bike, it merely lacks the capability to be the general winner:

You realize it’s a troublesome contest when even the Dura Ace can’t get to the entrance.

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